MEDIA FOCUS: Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions at a press conference in Beijing on March 8 (WEI YAO)
Chinese diplomacy has always been a topic of interest during the annual session of the National People's Congress. This year, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a pool interview with more than 500 Chinese and foreign journalists in Beijing on March 8, elaborating China's position on a series of bilateral and multilateral issues. Selected excerpts of Wang's comments follow:
Agenda for 2015
This year, the key focus of China's diplomacy will be making all-round progress in building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. China will further enhance policy communication with other countries, expand the convergence of shared interests, and explore effective avenues of win-win cooperation. The emphasis will be on promoting infrastructural connectivity, as China seeks to build overland economic corridors and pillars of maritime cooperation. China will also promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cooperation, and speed up relevant free trade agreement negotiations. China is confident that the One Belt and One Road initiatives will win even more support and deliver even more "early harvests," so as to catalyze the revitalization of the Eurasian continent as a whole.
In 2015, China will accomplish many goals under the two themes of peace and development. The country will work with the international community to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the world's anti-Fascist war and the founding of the UN. China will play a constructive role in the UN's development summit and international cooperation on climate change as well as help to secure a post-2015 development agenda.
Last year, China shouldered its share of international responsibility by taking an active part in the mediation of a series of hot-spot issues. In the meantime, the country has been searching for a uniquely Chinese approach to conflict resolution by drawing wisdom and inspiration from its traditional culture.
Perhaps a bit of traditional Chinese medicine may offer a prescription for the ills of modern society. When approaching a hot-spot issue, first, the involved parties need to adopt an objective and impartial attitude, understand the origins of the conflict, and establish the basic facts. They should not just listen to one side of the story and write out the wrong prescription.
Second, a multi-pronged approach needs to be adopted. Rather than willfully resorting to the use of force or sanctions, efforts should be made to seek a political settlement and try to put forward a comprehensive and balanced package of solutions that addresses the concerns of all involved.
Third, both the symptoms and the root causes need to be addressed. It is important to understand the heart of the problem before proposing a remedy.
In short, China will continue to follow a non-interventionist approach and respect the sovereign equality of countries. In that context, China will continue to play its role in helping to appropriately resolve all varieties of hot-spot and protracted issues.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the United States this fall at the invitation of his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama. China expects that the two presidents will have another productive discussion and inject new momentum into the efforts to build a new model of major-country relations between China and the United States.
Building a new model of relations is in accordance with the common interests of both countries and the trend of the times. As long as the two sides show sincerity, emphasize the bottom line of "no conflict and no confrontation," and cement the foundation of "mutual respect," then China and the United States can explore the immense potential for "win-win cooperation."
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economic leaders' meeting in Beijing last November, President Xi called for shaping the future through an Asia-Pacific partnership. Many countries responded enthusiastically to his initiative. China and the United States interact most frequently in the Asia-Pacific and their interests intersect the most in this region. In China's view, the building of a new model of major-country relations should begin with the Asia-Pacific region.
As for the issue of cyber-security, since both China and the United States are major users of the Internet, they have common interests in upholding it. China hopes cyberspace will become a new frontier of bilateral cooperation rather than a new source of friction.
Cooperation With Russia
The China-Russia relationship is not dictated by international vicissitudes and does not target any third party. Thanks to the strong strategic trust the two sides have established, the relationship between China and Russia has become more mature and stable.
This year, Sino-Russian practical cooperation is expected to deliver a series of new results. For example, both countries will work hard to lift two-way trade to $100 billion. They will also sign an agreement to work on the Silk Road Economic Belt and begin relevant cooperation.
China and Russia are both permanent members of the UN Security Council. They will continue to carry out strategic coordination and cooperation to maintain international peace and security. This year, both countries will hold a series of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the world's anti-Fascist war. China and Russia will support each other and jointly uphold international peace and the outcome of World War II.